Preventing and Treating Basketball Injuries: The Things You Need to Know
There is no doubt that playing basketball is beneficial to us. It can help you stay fit, become stronger and feel more confident. However, playing high-contact sports like this comes with a lot of risks.
Because of the fast-paced and demanding nature of basketball, you are at risk of getting injured when you play this sport. That is true no matter how careful and cautious you are.
The good news is, most basketball injuries are easy to treat (I have listed a few treatment tips below). There are also a few things that you can do to reduce your risk of injury.
If you want to stay safe and injury-free during the basketball season, continue reading!
How to Treat Basketball Injuries
In general, basketball injuries fall under two categories—acute or traumatic, and overuse.
When we talk about acute or traumatic injuries, we are referring to the type of injuries that occur due to a sudden impact or force. These may include wrist sprains, jammed fingers, ankle sprain, hamstring tears or pulls, ACL/ PCL injuries, muscle strains, and sprains.
On the other hand, overuse injuries refer to the injuries brought about by stress on the muscles, soft tissues and tendons and may occur over time. This happens because the muscles were not given enough time to rest and heal properly. Examples of these are tendonitis, Achilles tendinitis, and rotator cuff tendonitis.
Regardless of what type of injury you are experiencing, your situation can be improved by following these initial injury treatment steps:
Protect the injured area with brace, crutches or splint.
Having an injury is the best time for you to give your body the rest it deserves. But if you don’t want to abandon your fitness routine completely, you should simply refrain from performing activities that cause pain to the affected area.
The next step that you should do is to prevent the swelling and pain of the injured area. You can do this by cooling that area with an ice pack or bag.
The affected area must be iced once every hour, for 15 minutes at most.
To further reduce or stop swelling, you can wrap the affected area with an Ace wrap or bandage.
When you elevate the affected area, you are using gravity to minimize the amount of fluid that goes to it. This is another excellent way to control swelling.
You can easily remember these by keeping in mind the P.R.I.C.E acronym. If after this initial intervention, the pain does not subside (and even got worse), it is recommended that you consult a sports doctor right away.
Basketball Injury Prevention Tips to Keep in Mind
But as they say, prevention is better than cure. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how you can prevent basketball injuries:
• Warm up and do some stretching.
No matter how pressed for time you are, always make time for warm-ups. Stretching gently prepares the body for exercise and can loosen joints and ultimately, prevent injuries.
For a short warm-up routine, you can do jumping jacks, running, stationary cycling or walking for 3 to 5 minutes. After that, perform some stretches, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
• Wear the right shoes and gear.
Before you step into the court, make sure that you are wearing the best for ankle support. In this way, you can prevent ankle sprains or twists. If you have already injured your ankle before, it is best that you go for high ankles shoes or ankle braces.
In addition to support, you also need to consider traction. When your shoes have poor traction, your chances of skidding and sliding across the floor is high.
Moreover, you should wear acrylic socks to avoid blisters.
• Stay hydrated.
The body cools itself down through sweating. When you are not well hydrated, you will not sweat properly. As a result, the body will fail to cool down, and your chances of experiencing heat exhaustion will get higher.
To avoid this, make sure to drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated beverage 2 hours before your ballgame. You can also drink 8 ounces of water right before you play basketball.
• Scout the court.
Before you proceed with the ballgame, scout your venue first. Regardless if you are playing indoors or outdoors, you need to make sure that the court is free from debris, trash, rocks or other obstacles that may prevent you from playing safely.
We cannot deny the fact that playing basketball can do great wonders for our body. But playing this game unprepared can result in unwanted accidents and injuries. Make sure that you keep in mind the tips that we have mentioned and put it to good use before your ballgame to minimize your risk of getting injured.